Learning Word Embeddings with Chi-Square Weights for Healthcare Tweet Classification

Sicong Kuang and Brian D. Davison

Full Article (12 pages)
Official published version: journal pdf

Twitter is a popular source for the monitoring of healthcare information and public disease. However, there exists much noise in the tweets. Even though appropriate keywords appear in the tweets, they do not guarantee the identification of a truly health-related tweet. Thus, the traditional keyword-based classification task is largely ineffective. Algorithms for word embeddings have proved to be useful in many natural language processing (NLP) tasks. We introduce two algorithms based on an existing word embedding learning algorithm: the continuous bag-of-words model (CBOW). We apply the proposed algorithms to the task of recognizing healthcare-related tweets. In the CBOW model, the vector representation of words is learned from their contexts. To simplify the computation, the context is represented by an average of all words inside the context window. However, not all words in the context window contribute equally to the prediction of the target word. Greedily incorporating all the words in the context window will largely limit the contribution of the useful semantic words and bring noisy or irrelevant words into the learning process, while existing word embedding algorithms also try to learn a weighted CBOW model. Their weights are based on existing pre-defined syntactic rules while ignoring the task of the learned embedding. We propose learning weights based on the words' relative importance in the classification task. Our intuition is that such learned weights place more emphasis on words that have comparatively more to contribute to the later task. We evaluate the embeddings learned from our algorithms on two healthcare-related datasets. The experimental results demonstrate that embeddings learned from the proposed algorithms outperform existing techniques by a relative accuracy improvement of over 9%.

Applied Sciences, Volume 7, Issue 8, Article 846. 17 August 2017.

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Last modified: 17 August 2017
Brian D. Davison